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The student website of Van Nuys High School
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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Biden will be the next President. Now what?

What President-elect Joe Biden’s victory means for America.
Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)..This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Receiving the most votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate, the 46th president will be stepping into office on Jan. 20 with a lot of promises to keep.

President-elect Joe Biden is entering a presidency like no president before he has: amidst a global pandemic, a war on systemic racism and a country more divided than ever before.

Biden collected his votes by pledging to enact new policies swiftly that diverge the U.S. of President Trump’s current path — and voters plan to hold him accountable.

Here’s a look at what might be coming:

Biden has set ambitious goals to change the course of the coronavirus pandemic and has vowed to get “at least 100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” during his first 100 days in office. The U.S. has already started to roll out vaccines as the Pfizer vaccine was administered to healthcare workers in New York on Monday. Biden also said he would make it a “national priority” to get children back to school during that time.

Soon after becoming president-elect, Biden announced a team of advisers that will lead his coronavirus task force once he takes office. The task force will be led by Dr. David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner; former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine.

He also plans to provide free testing for all and hire 100,000 people to set up a national contact-tracing program.

Biden has promised to begin working on a new covid-19 aid package before taking office by coordinating with local politicians.

As part of a relief package, Biden has in the past called for at least $10,000 in student loan debt to be canceled for all Americans.

Biden has said he’ll start working on a vaccine distribution plan on the first day of his presidency. He plans to spend $25 billion on vaccine production and disbursement and calls for the vaccine to be free for all Americans.

The president-elect has also said he will expand coronavirus testing resources and push all states to enforce the mask mandate.

Biden also plans to listen to science by rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO), which Trump pulled out of over the summer, on his first day in office. Biden hopes to keep Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, as a close advisor.

To address the immediate impact of the pandemic, Biden has vowed to extend loans to small businesses.

Biden supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour — a measure popular among his younger voters.

He has also pledged to raise corporate income taxes to 28 percent on his first day as president, reversing Trump’s corporate tax cut which now stands at 21 percent. This falls under Biden’s larger proposed tax plan, which emphasizes that Americans making less than $400,000 would not pay more in taxes.

Biden also plans to make major investments in the U.S. economy to boost domestic growth with hopes of creating five million jobs. His “Made in America” plan would pour $400 billion into procurement measures to boost domestic manufacturing as well as another $300 billion into research and technology.

Criminal Justice System and Racial Equity
In the wake of national protests calling for racial justice, Biden plans to combat racism through economic and social programs to support minorities.

He has pushed to extend the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discriminatory voting practices, to prevent modern voter suppression.

Biden has rejected calls to defund police but has promised reforms to address the treatment of the Black community.

He plans to increase police reform by instituting a national police oversight commission within the first 100 days of taking office. His plan for police reform will also include investing $300 million into community policing measures and assigning the Justice Department to investigate possible issues of police misconduct.

To address prison reform and crime prevention, Biden says he will push Congress to pass the SAFEJustice Act which will include taking steps to reduce the use of mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses and initiate other policies to reduce recidivism.

Biden will head into office with hopes of making the U.S. an international leader on climate change.

He plans to immediately reenter the U.S. into the Paris climate accord. Trump’s plan to pull the U.S. out of the agreement became official this month.

Biden has also proposed a clean energy plan which includes getting the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The proposal calls for a $2 trillion investment to boost reliance on clean energy and climate sustainable practices. Biden says that 40 percent of the funding will go to communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

His plan will also include creating jobs in manufacturing green energy products.

Biden has not been opposed to industries like oil, natural gas and fracking — industries which many of his young voters hope to reduce.

Biden plans to expand the existing Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This will include insuring an estimated 97 percent of Americans.

He also plans to give Americans a new public health insurance option like Medicare. Like Medicare, Biden’s public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers.

Biden has endorsed several pieces of education policy such as student loan debt forgiveness, expansion of tuition-free colleges and universal preschool access.

The president-elect has expressed support for the College for All Act which would eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000.

Biden is also advocating for private historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions to be tuition-free.

Biden’s primary goal is to undo many of Trump’s immigration policies.

He has said that on his first day in office, he will produce immigration legislation that creates a pathway to citizenship for 11 million migrants living in the U.S. illegally and DREAMers, who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He has also pledged to make the DACA program permanent, after years of the Trump administration’s attempts to repeal it.

Biden has vowed to stop the practice of separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. On the first day as president, Biden has said he will pass an executive order establishing a task force focused on reuniting children and parents separated at the border.

His immigration plan would also increase government supervision over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as Customs and Border Protection to hold personnel accountable for the treatment of immigrants held in detention centers.

The president-elect pledges to take away funding towards the construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border. He won’t, however, take down parts of the wall that have already been built.

Foreign Policy
Biden vows to reach out to U.S. allies soon after taking office to restore America’s reputation.

The president-elect wants to plan an international summit where democratic leaders will discuss ways to push back against corruption and authoritarian practices.

Biden has also said China should be held accountable for unfair environmental and trade practices. He has proposed an international coalition with other democracies that China “can’t afford to ignore” instead of instituting unilateral tariffs. His foreign policy toward China has been vague.

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About the Contributor
Ani Tutunjyan
Ani Tutunjyan, Executive Editor & Print Editor-in-Chief
Ani Tutunjyan the Executive Editor and Print Editor-in-Chief for The Mirror. She joined the program in her freshman year as a Current Events writer and she is now in her fourth year of publication as a senior. Ani has won a number of regional and national awards for her News and Features writing. Outside of journalism, she is involved in TASSEL Cambodia and Operation Period. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and cooking.  She would love to go to Italy to experience the rich history and beautiful architecture. Ani intends to major in law or journalism when she applies to colleges this fall.
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